In downtown Providence, R.I., a massive shopping mall dominates the skyline. City officials have praised the mall for bringing new life to an old industrial city, but some residents and local artists like Michael Townsend have been grumbling since the mall was first built in 1999. Also in the show: A man rediscovers a gift he gave to his grandmother.
Adrian Moreno was engaged in an experiment to get by on much less. He moved his family to a vacant lot on the far outskirts of San Diego within earshot of the Mexican border. At first, they lived in a tepee. Then Adrian built a house on the property for about $10,000. Adrian talks with Dick about how he taught himself construction and the art of living lightly.
Rafe Sagarin first moved to the California coast as a college student at Stanford. He bought all the John Steinbeck novels he could find and began exploring his new home through the salty characters of "Cannery Row" and "Tortilla Flat." One of Steinbeck's most memorable characters is Doc. It did not take long for Rafe to realize Doc was the fictional version of Ed Ricketts, a biologist and one of John Steinbeck's closest friends. When Rafe learned Steinbeck and Ricketts had once gone on an expedition in the Mexican Sea of Cortez, his imagination lit up with the idea of recreating that journey. Also in this episode, walking while working a desk job.
Father Peter is an American priest who has spent more than 40 years practicing liberation theology all over Latin America. Fifteen years ago he moved to Ciudad Juarez. Father Peter lives alongside the poor and working class -- shopkeepers, maquila workers, and small time drug dealers. At 86 years old, he splits his time between being a political activist, trying to change US foreign policy around Latin America and being a neighborhood priest.
For the last 20 years, Lisa Curran has been living and working in the forests of Indonesia to help locals learn how to preserve what rightfully belongs to them. Her work recently won her a prestigious MacArthur Foundation fellowship of $500,000. Also in this episode, Val Johnson of Chicago.